Thursday, January 22, 2009

It was the Best of Times for Apple ... the Worst of Times for Everyone Else

Defying the odds in these terrible economic times, Apple announced yesterday that it scored record revenues and profits during its last fiscal quarter ending on December 27. Apple's profits during that quarter were $1.61 billion on $10.2 billion of revenue -- truly astounding numbers in the face of virtually everyone else's woes.

How did Apple do it? The old fashioned way -- another record-breaking holiday season for the iPod. Specifically, 22.7 million iPods were sold during this past quarter (up 3% from the year earlier). And, certainly the "cool" factor of the iPhone -- virtually every friend I know has one (and my wife desperately wants one, but Verizon has locked us down) -- doesn't hurt. 4.4 million iPhones were sold this past quarter, raising overall iPhone sales since launch to 13.7 million. And, finally, while virtually all other computer makers experienced extraordinary declines in sales, Mac sales refused to sink in the quicksand economy and rose 9% overall (off 25% on desktop sales, but more than offset by a 34% rise in laptop sales).

Technology's "King of Cool" brings a ray of hope during these worst of times ... and underscores the power of brand and an ongoing deep relationship of trust with customers.